Silverstone hosts latest innovations

The co-located FAST and Engineering Materials Live exhibitions gave visitors a range of valuable insights.

The latest fastening, joining and materials innovations were on show at Silverstone Racing Circuit in May at the co-located Engineering Materials Live and FAST Show.

With more than 50 exhibitors, visitors were able to interact freely with the latest innovations and catch up with the developments from some of the biggest names in the business, many of whom had new products to discuss.

One of these was Lohmann, which has developed new products for use in two key areas of application for adhesive tapes within the medical sector – those which are employed for direct body contact and those which are used in the assembly of medical devices and equipment.

Lohmann’s Bonding Engineers have recently introduced a new range of adhesive tapes under the DuploMED brand name, and as an example the company cites its DuploMED SUR 62400. This is a surgical incise film which offers users a stable and humidity protected liner combined with high breathability and good bonding to skin.

To accompany the new adhesive tapes developed for surgical applications, Lohmann has also released details of further products under its DuploMED brand. These are stated to offer adhesive solutions and die-cut parts that provide a number of key benefits to users including long term skin wear of up to 14 days, together with high flexibility for comfort. Moreover, they are breathable, offer good water-resistance and are also printable.

Lohmann claims that DuploMED has rapidly become a ‘go-to’ brand for affixing skin mounted wearable sensors and monitoring equipment thanks to its long wear time. The company points out that it can also polymerise and formulate special adhesive tapes for a given market sector or for customers requiring tailored solutions.

Adhesive tapes for use with sterilisation pouches are also available within the DuploMED 64200 series. Designed specifically for use on sterilisation pouches, Lohmann have brought to market a range that can be used with confidence whether the sterilisation process involves Gamma irradiation, the use of ethylene oxide, steam or dry heat. The tape is said to offer excellent heat stability, has a long service life and is available in both 15mm and 19mm widths.

Long-term exhibitor Henkel’s ongoing commitment to the continuous development of both its products and methods of manufacture was in evidence at the shows. Across all technologies, adhesives for bonding and sealing are being reformulated to provide new or improved characteristics to widen their scope of application.

A good example is Loctite 518, a product that was first introduced to overcome the problems associated with conventional pre-cut compression gaskets.This anaerobic adhesive can now cure through light surface contamination and works well on stainless steel and aluminium without an activator.And it has also been made available in pen form that delivers the proven leak-fighting properties of Loctite 518 via a roller ball, making application easier than ever, with no waste and less mess.

Another illustration of Henkel innovation is its patented hybrid technology that harnesses the strengths of different adhesive technologies to provide a unique combination of characteristics. Indeed, it is the basis of the new generation Loctite Universal Structural Bonders that combine bond strength, speedy cure and durability.

As ever, the seminar sessions were well attended. Particular highlights included ‘Innovative Materials for Engineering Applications’ from Dr Aphrodite Tomou, technical manager, Goodfellow.

Goodfellow is unique in offering a comprehensive range of metals, alloys, ceramics, glasses, polymers, compounds, composites and other materials to meet the research, development and specialist production requirements of science and industry worldwide. Recent introductions into the range of innovative materials include a unique solder, 2D and sustainable materials. Due to the unique properties of some of these materials, innovative solutions to engineering issues can be sought with a corresponding fundamental long-term impact on industry technologies.

Oxford Lasers presented ‘Ultra-fast laser microwelding of dissimilar materials (metal to glass)’. This described Project UltraWELD, which is developing photonic based processes for highly dissimilar material joining in manufacturing of complex electro optics devices for defence/aerospace applications and OLED lighting.

Ultrafast (i.e. pico- or femto-second pulsed) laser welding of glass to metals is proposed as an alternative to other bonding techniques that currently fail to provide a satisfactory solution on demanding requirements for device hermetic sealing and suffer from device degradation due to outgassing of volatile components in adhesives. They will develop new ultrafast laser processes for dissimilar material joining (microwelding) and also design and build a flexible custom laser prototype machine capable of applications development to demonstrate such laser microwelding in key selected real devices at TRL level 6. The project will directly benefit all five industry partners by enabling early adoption of this technology from end users, to enhance product competitiveness by increasing reliability and in-service lifetime and reduce cost of ownership.

Engineering Materials

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